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Coming out of its best weekend of the season, the Princeton men’s basketball team looks to build off of last week’s success as the Tigers commence the hunt for joint third in the Ivy League. After a season filled with close losses and disappointment, the Tigers (17-8 overall, 5-6 Ivy League) now have a chance to end the season strongly and put themselves in postseason consideration.
Men sweep Brown and Yale in final weekend of home conference play
There is certainly no rest for the weary. Fresh off of a disheartening loss to Harvard, the men’s basketball team must start the second half of their home-stand against two of the Ivy League's best: Yale and Brown. Though out of league contention themselves, the Tigers face off against two teams still in the hunt for the No. 1 spot.
In a play symbolic of Princeton’s season, sophomore forward Hans Brase missed a dunk with eight minutes left and the Tigers (15-8 overall, 3-6 Ivy League) trailing Harvard by one. The Crimson (22-4, 9-1) took the ball right up the court and guard Brandyn Curry hit a tide-turning three. Moments later they went up six on forward Steve Mondou-Missi’s authoritative dunk and Princeton never recovered.
The men’s basketball team will not win the Ivy League. But Princeton (14-7 overall, 2-5 Ivy League) still has plenty of reasons to fight. A big one is the continuation of the 24 year home win streak against Harvard, who will be visiting Jadwin Gymnasium Saturday night. The streak survived against the 25th ranked team two years ago and a 2-12 season in the league with a double overtime win in 2007. A similarly big upset will be required to extend it.
Halfway through the gauntlet that is Ivy League regular season men’s basketball, Harvard and Yale stand at the top of a competitive table. As teams start to find their identity — for better or for worse — here is how the Ancient Eight rank: Harvard (20-4 overall, 7-1 Ivy League): First team all-Ivy League swingman Wesley Saunders alongside point guard Siyani Chambers feature in a talented offensive backcourt that can more or less enforce its will upon the rest of the league. The Crimson has the second hottest offense in the league, averaging almost 73 points per game. Cambridge has been a citadel, save for the upset home loss to Yale. Yale (13-9, 7-1): The Bulldogs sit a close second in this ranking. A 74-67 win at Harvard two weekends back and a tight 66-65 overtime win over Princeton showed this team’s resiliency and ability to execute. Offensive rebounding appears to be the strength of this team, with forward Justin Sears ranking third in the league with 7.0 boards per game. They will host the Crimson two weekends from now in a game that could decide the league’s champion. Brown (13-9, 5-3): Freshman forward Leland King provided 15 points in just 20 minutes in a losing effort against Princeton. His weekend performances won him league Rookie of the Week honors. The backcourt is solidified by Sean McGonagill, who ranks just behind Princeton’s senior point guard TJ Bray in points per game with 17.8. Strong forward play makes Brown one of the best rebounding teams in the league. Additionally, the Bears keep their opponents to the lowest shooting percentage in the league. Columbia (15-10, 4-4): 34 points from Co-Player of the Week and forward Alex Rosenberg helped push the league-leading Crimson to two overtime periods. The Lions could not pull off the home upset, however. Their offensive and defensive shot percentages are around the league averages, so it’s not surprising that this team sits at .500. Penn (6-15, 3-4): The Quakers are unable to shake opposing three-point shooters, as opponents have converted 50 of 134 attempts from beyond the arc. That equates to a league-worst 37.3 three-point percentage by their opponents. On the positive side, 6’ 11” center Darien Nelson-Henry ranks fifth in the league in rebounds per game and first in shooting percentage, though he only plays 20 minutes per game in conference. Princeton (14-7, 2-5): An inability to consistently boxout and secure rebounds has been a fairly constant problem for the Tigers. Additionally, a decidedly unremarkable record in close games this season may come down to either bad luck or late-game nerves. TJ Bray ranks first in assists and points per game, and he limits turnovers to 1.8 per game. In any case, the highly-touted Tigers are seeing their championship hopes slip away. Dartmouth (9-13, 2-6): The Dartmouth men have slipped severely of late. After an impressive 2-2 start, including a home overtime win over Princeton, the Big Green has dropped four consecutive matchups. A wild comeback at Cornell failed to result in a victory. Despite its best efforts, this squad will not be competing seriously in a competitive league. Cornell (2-20, 1-7): In 25 consecutive games against Division I opponents, Cornell’s squad has lost 25. All that changed when the Big Red managed to put up a 15-point lead on Dartmouth at home and hold on to win 70-67. Sophomore guard Noah Cressler managed 17 points against both Dartmouth and Harvard.
Senior guard and captain T.J. Bray got the ball with 4.4 seconds left near midcourt and made one final drive to the basket to try and lift the Tigers over the Bulldogs. In a play symbolic of Princeton’s (14-7 overall, 2-5 Ivy League) Ivy League performance, he got all the way into the paint, before fumbling the ball out of bounds. Yale (13-9, 7-1) won 66-65 in overtime, ending any miracle Ivy League title runs the team may have dreamed of the night before after escaping Brown with a 69-65 victory.
Coming off a rough homestand, the Tigers head out for what looks to be their toughest weekend of the season. After going 1-1 against two of the weaker teams in the Ivy League, Princeton (13-6 overall, 1-4 Ivy League) now stand at seventhin the conference and must take on some of the best and (literally) biggest of the Ivies, Brown and Yale.
The men’s basketball team suffered another crushing defeat Friday night against Columbia before rebounding to smother Cornell Saturday in the first pair of conference matchups at home. Princeton (13-6 overall, 1-4 Ivy League) fell 53-52 to the Lions (14-9, 3-3) after a couple of controversial calls in the final minute went against the Tigers. The next night saw Princeton play its best defense of the season, stymieing the Big Red (1-19, 0-6) in a 69-48 win, the first against a Division I opponent this calendar year.
Men’s basketball will try to turn its season around this weekend in match-ups against Columbia and Cornell at Jadwin Gymnasium. Princeton (12-5 overall, 0-3 Ivy League) is winless through three conference games for the first time since 2007 when they lost their first four league contests en route to a 2-12 record. Despite a sterling non-conference record, the Tigers have been unable to win close games recently, losing by three and six at Penn and Harvard respectively and taking Dartmouth to overtime.
This is the first in a series of articles recounting the feats of great Princeton teams from a variety of sports.
The men's basketball team suffered two Ivy League defeats over the weekend, effectively eliminating the already-small chance they had at winning the conference. Friday night saw Princeton (12-5 overall, 0-3 Ivy League) fall 82-76 at Harvard (18-3, 4-0). Playing at Dartmouth (9-9, 2-2) the following night, the Tigers forced overtime before losing 78-69. Princeton’s defensive woes continued as both opponents shot greater than 50 percent from the field, including more than 40 percent from three, and outrebounded the Tigers.
PHILADELPHIA, PA -Princeton’s hopes of an Ivy League title took a huge hit Saturday with a shocking 77-74 loss to Penn at the Palestra.
The men's basketball team begins the "Fourteen-Game Tournament" that is the Ivy League season tonight with a trip to the Palestra to face rival Penn. The teams have had opposite seasons so far, with the Quakers winning just two of their first 12 games and the Tigers (11-2) off to their best start in recent memory. Still, in the Ancient Eight, anything can happen when these two teams, which have 47 Ivy titles between them, face off. The 'Prince' is here on the liveblog to bring you all the action.
It is a time-honored tradition that, before the first men's basketball game of the season between Princeton and Penn, the Sports Editors of theDaily PrincetonianandDaily Pennsylvanianexchange columns in which they trash-talk the other school's team. Though we felt sort of bad doing it this year, given Penn's record, we nonetheless proudly present this year's exchange.Daily PennsylvanianSports Editors Steven Tydings, Ian Wenik and Riley Steele's column can be found here. Below is Sports Editor Stephen Wood's column:
The men’s basketball team faced their final opponent before beginning Ivy League play on Saturday, traveling to Lynchburg, Va., to defeat Liberty 80-74.
The halftime score was 35-23, and the men's basketball team was being outshot, outrebounded and outplayed. When the Tigers (8-1) came out of the gates slowly in the second half to go down 41-23 with a full 17 minutes left, Princeton fans had plenty of reason to give up. After all, Princeton was shooting just 29 percent from the floor including an abysmal 15.4 percent from behind the arc. Penn State (8-4) was dominating the paint, shooting 60 percent from inside and outrebounding the Tigers 24-9.
The men’s basketball team squares off against Penn State Saturday in what should be one of the toughest games of the season for the Tigers. And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, the game will also be played at Penn State’s Rec Hall — the home of Nittany Lions basketball from 1929-96 — instead of the Bryce Jordan Center, the first time a game has been held there in 18 years.
The men’s basketball team is doing better now that Ian Hummer ’13 is gone.